dgmarie

Just washed my Silhouette blinds: how I saved $700.

dgmarie
hace 12 años

Can you tell I'm proud? I wanted to share:

I have a bunch of Hunter Douglas Silhouette mini blinds and boy were they dirty. Dusty and little bugs inside of them. So I called a Hunter Douglas authorized cleaning service. He wanted SEVEN HUNDRED DOLLARS to clean 15 blinds. I was like OH OKAY and my husband wondered aloud how much NEW ones would cost. So I said what the heck, let's clean them ourselves. I got out the mini Bissel carpet cleaner (the kind with suction hose and two tanks and on-board heater) and just wet them and vaccumed out the water. We took them down and layed them on some thick towels in the kitchen to clean them. You should have seen the dirty water; it was BLACK. I mean, these were white blinds and they looked dusty but apparently they were filthy. And then since they are 100% polyester they dried in minutes and voila. Clean blinds. No water stains or marks or anything. I think I could have taken them outside in the sun and srpayed off the dust with the garden hose and it would have worked, too.

Comentarios (93)

  • bananafana
    hace 8 años
    Última modificación: hace 6 años

    twins99---you just clean them from the front of the fabric and basically, all the dirt comes out that way with the suction you get with the Little Green. You don't have to get the machine head into the spaces.

    pricklypear---I had the same problem with the nozzle but it started working after I soaked the spray head in vinegar overnite. I think it's that tiny pinhole on the nozzle that gets clogged.

  • Ilene Perl
    hace 8 años
    Última modificación: hace 6 años

    Try to start from the top and work down the water and dirt does drip a little. I tried it in a hidden spot toward the middle at first, which made the whole process messier for me. I noticed a small area on the bottom most row in the middle of my largest blind (covers 3 windows) where it looks as though some dirt is on the inner part of the blind, I plan on going over it with the little green machine and hope that it comes off (only noticeable when shade is closed). But other than that they look as clean as they were when new!

  • downtowner
    hace 8 años
    Última modificación: hace 6 años

    I have a carpet cleaning machine, but when my Silhouettes need cleaning I will try my Ladybug steam cleaner, while they are still hanging.

    Just a guess at this point in time, but I suspect it would work.

    It has removed extensive mildew from a polyestercarpet next to the shower with no problem, and made it look like new.

  • garg
    hace 7 años
    Última modificación: hace 6 años

    Got a $1532 estimate for cleaning blinds of a remodeled home. Bought a $25 inflatable swimming pool, filled it with water, mild detergent and rinsed. They are clean as new. It took me 3 hours with some help from my better half. 30 blinds , 452 sq ft, some as wide as 6 ft.

    Now, a professional blind cleaner may still show me why my output is marginally sub-optimal (which I still doubt), but for my needs and budget, I think it worked out best. Friends have already commented on how good the shades look.

    Professional cleaners do not and cannot guarantee better than DIY results. Read their fine prints.

  • cececede
    hace 7 años
    Última modificación: hace 6 años

    I would like someone to send me pictures of their Silhouette blinds before and after they have been cleaned with A Bissel Little Green Machine. I don't own one, but would like to buy one . I would like to see the finished product first, before purchasing.

    Thankyou

  • Gnet
    hace 7 años
    Última modificación: hace 6 años

    I cleaned mine with the attachment to my carpet cleaner. I hosed them down first, and used the carpet cleaner accessory for furniture(the one that just sprays and sucks, no spinning action) and it worked great. They look brand new. I've had mine for 20 years and only ever vacuumed them. I did both sides and the water was black! It was worth the time. I will post before and after pictures.

  • Jackb115
    hace 7 años
    Última modificación: hace 6 años

    Hi all I also have 10 HD Silhoutte blinds that needed cleaning. I did buy the machine and started cleaning the first blind. I must say it does clean very well however, it is a mess and time consuming. My wife and I decided to do it the easy way and if it didn't work I was willing to give up and buy new blinds. We filled the tub with water about a third of the way and added Oxyclean (generous amount) and simply soaked the blinds for a few minutes each and rinsed them out. Let the blinds drain out in the tub afterwards. I could not believe my eyes when we put the blinds up. They were like new again. I cannot believe how much HD dealers charge for cleaning these blinds. it only cost me the price of a box of Oxyclean and 1 hour of my time.

  • tuesdayschild
    hace 7 años
    Última modificación: hace 6 años

    Hi all, to those of you who have used Oxiclean or other oxygen bleach on these -- how much did you use? Jackb said "a generous amount" but I'm wondering how much that is. I've got mildew spots on the bottom third of my Silhouettes. I've been soaking them for 2 hours in about 1/3 of a tub with 5 scoops of oxy bleach powder with some gentle rubbing every so often. So far I'm not getting any spots going away.

    I tried the Little Green first, with them hanging, but had no success, so now I'm trying the soaking, but maybe I'm not using enough oxy?

    Any reccos? Thanks!

  • Jackb115
    hace 7 años
    Última modificación: hace 6 años

    Sorry for the late respons Teusdayschiled
    I have used quite alot of oxyclean. my blinds didn't have mildew spots but they did pick up alot of dust for over 8 years. my house was rented and the tenant did nothing to maintain a clean house. when i started cleaning the blinds the water was turning dark gray. I did the process few times and each time adding few scoops of oxyclean. i used a large pan to rinse off each blind while holding it open. this did the trick and my blinds are as new. I hope you were able to clean yours.

    Regards,

    Jackb115

  • pamisue51
    hace 7 años
    Última modificación: hace 6 años

    I recently bought a home that had Hunter Douglas Silhouette shades in the kitchen. They were about 6 years old and had never been cleaned. As I wasn't the one who paid the high prices for them, I had nothing to lose. I took them down, put them in the bathtub (head rail and all) and soaked them in laundry detergent and bleach. I rinsed them and let them dry on towels for a couple of hours. They were like new and I rehung them. Don't know what all the commotion is about. They work beautifully.

  • pamisue51
    hace 7 años
    Última modificación: hace 6 años

    I recently bought a home that had Hunter Douglas Silhouette shades in the kitchen. They were about 6 years old and had never been cleaned. As I wasn't the one who paid the high prices for them, I had nothing to lose. I took them down, put them in the bathtub (head rail and all) and soaked them in laundry detergent and bleach. I rinsed them and let them dry on towels for a couple of hours. They were like new and I rehung them. Don't know what all the commotion is about. They work beautifully.

  • Gnet
    hace 7 años
    Última modificación: hace 6 años

    Never use bleach on sihouettes

  • gaylene57
    hace 6 años
    Última modificación: hace 6 años

    I'm an interior designer and installed Silhouettes throughout my home 20 years ago. They've been professionally cleaned several times. The last time, it was disappointing - several hundred dollars for a very poor job and wouldn't return calls to rectify. This autumn I decided to attempt cleaning them myself and made the decision to clean (perhaps risk) the smallest blind as a test run. This is the process I used for the 1st and subsequent blinds:

    1 - Filled the walk-in shower with warm water (about 2") & Oxyclean according to directions
    2 - Soaked blinds for 5-10 minutes, used a soft bristled manicure brush to gently run it left to right, then right to left to help loosen dirt and insect remains. In a few places, the brush wouldn't dislodge the nastier stuff. I taped 2 wooden bbq skewers together for length (pointy sides at taped joint) and used the flat side to gently dislodge) by scraping the remains between the sheer fabrics that had stuck.
    3 - Used handheld shower (gentle spray) to rinse, top to bottom
    4 - Hung over shower curtain rod that was placed in the center of shower; tilted top and bottom rails from hi to lo until water stopped pouring out (make sure curtain rod is firmly in place. If you don't have a horizontal tile lip to place the rod above for > stability, consider another way to get as much water out as possible to lessen the weight prior to hanging on rod)
    5 - Let air dry with the help of a small fan for about 30-60 minutes depending on size
    6 - Hung back in place overnight unrolled; on the 2nd day, I rolled completely up thinking that could help eliminate any puckering for about 12 hours. I allowed the 1st blind to hang for a month to test this out)

    Worked like a charm! Seriously, had I known it was this easy, I would have saved myself BIG bucks over the years.

    If using a shower curtain rod, place in the center of the tub (or purchase a new one for a fraction of the cost of sending out to clean).

    Burt, I agree with greywings. Could the others that fall apart be knock-offs and not be as well made as Hunter-Douglas? In my personal situation, it was easy and they look great without any puckering. I will still be calling a professional cleaner for 2 that are over 60" wide because they won't fit in the walk-in shower, but am still thinking of a way to do myself!

    After the test run, I was able to clean 3 in a couple hours (2 were French patio door coverings that are nearly 6' tall).

    The key is handling the blinds "GENTLY" and not soaking which could (surmissing here) could loosen adhesive on the veins - also the reason to use a fan to dry quickly. Nothing in full force to alleviate any stretching that could result in puckering.

    Hunter Douglas' disclaimer recommends using the services of a professional blind cleaner who cleans ultrasonically or injection/extraction. Because this worked for me, I cannot say this will work for anyone else's blinds. If you have any doubts, I highly recommend a professional cleaner.

  • jbacali
    hace 6 años

    I have read that Silouette Blinds which are the ( Bon Soir ) kind should NEVER be cleaned by anything but injection/extraction. Has anyone else tried to clean theirs other than this way?

  • cbellas
    hace 5 años

    The Littlegreen ProHeat Bissell method really worked. I just used it on my Hunter Douglas Silhouette blinds. Thank you so much for the recommendation. Just saved myself $3000 by NOT having to purchase new ones and $1750 not paying for an "ultrasonic" cleaning.


  • Julie Spurbeck
    hace 5 años

    Thanks for giving me the courage to try it! I saw the below post from "oxymee" on another site; I wanted to know if Oxyclean would work since I have food stains on my blinds from my son. I used: 1 scoop Oxyclean, 3 oz Zep commercial upholstery cleaner (Home Depot) and 1 gallon hot water. Mixed them up, let them sit for 20-30 minutes and used the mixture in our Rug Doctor.

    The Rug Doctor's hand tool worked awesome. I did a first pass adding the mix, going through the entire silhouette from top to bottom. Then I did a second pass just pulling out excess water (i.e., not holding down the cleaner-release handle.) They came out perfectly white and were dry when I checked them a couple hours later. They smell great, too. :-) They are back up and look great.

    ***************

    "To wash my window blinds, I soak them in oxyclean. It’s amazing how clean they get! I use 1 to 1 1/2 scoops of oxyclean and 1/2 cup of laundry detergent, a long plastic storage container with hot or warm water and soak them for about 1/2 hour or so. Usually I pre-mix the oxyclean in a tall plastic cup to get it activated it in hot water and in 10 min or so it looks like a bluish slushy but then it’s good to go! I soak everything including the wand part and the little sliders for the ends."

  • cececede
    hace 5 años

    Has anyone ever used the Green machine on "Hunter Douglas" Silhouette BonSoir shades. They are very delicate. I had four that I wanted to be cleaned, and one with water marks on it. A professional cleaner in Toronto was going to charge me $75.00 per shade plus shipping costs to clean them, as I live in Northern Ontario

  • grandmapeanut
    hace 5 años

    I'm quite sure you could use the Green Machine on Silhouette BonSoir shades. I looked it up and it says that the fabric on the outside and on the inside is 100% polyester. Polyester is very washable. I read that the "inner fabric" is a knit which suggests being gentle, but the outer fabric is a woven polyester, so I think it would work out fine since you won't make direct brush contact with the knit. I'm guessing that the inner knit is fairly strong any way, given all the sun they get.

  • monchikg
    hace 5 años

    Hi,

    Can I clean my shilloutte blinds on the wall or do I need to take them down? Also, I just ordered the little green machine, have never used and not familiar with it. Do I need to buy a special cleaning solution for the machine? Thank you.

  • ILoveRed
    hace 5 años
    Última modificación: hace 5 años

    I used my Green Machine on my Silhouettes about 5 yrs ago. They were so filthy that I figured, what did I have to lose. The solution is available at Walmart or K-mart in the vacuum cleaner department. A green bottle.

    i spread old sheets out on my (clean) garage floor, and took my fully extended blind there and spread it out over the sheets. The Green Machine has a cycle that sprays soapy water. Don't overdo the soap. Then gently scrub with it and suck the water out. If you don't soak them, they will dry fairly quickly.

    i did mine when it was warm outside. That helped them dry. Don't get too close to the top part of the blind and get the lifting mechanism wet.

    It was going to cost a fortune to clean them, and I can't imagine that they could have looked any better. I'm not crazy about the darn things anyway. Especially when bugs die inside the spaces.

    good luck!

  • SPmom
    hace 5 años
    Última modificación: hace 5 años

    Have owned Silhouettes for about 15 years and can't wait to clean them. One thing that may help evryone is that to get the insect bodies out here is what I have done. Went to the fish store and purchased and 4 foot long clear straight tube 1 3/16 diameter. These are used in large aquariums. If you put this tube in each of the "honeycombs" of the shade, hold your vacuum to the end (with no attachment on) and the little things come right out. With wider shades, you have to go to the other side and do the same thing. Hope this helps someone as reading this and getting hints on how to use the Green Machine has helped me.

  • party_music50
    hace 5 años

    Never heard of the little green machine until reading this, but just ordered one!

  • ILoveRed
    hace 5 años

    SPMom...thanks for the dead bug tip. Do you have a pic of this tube. We don't have a fish store and I am going to try to find this tube online.

  • robynmcginnis0
    hace 5 años

    Thank you for this post...I bought the $79 green machine (without water heater) and just finished my first set of 11 year old white silhouettes. They were filthy and I was so stressed over how to clean them...they look brand new!!! I'm so stoked!! Can't thank you enough...had you not shared this method I'd have been stuck with a huge bill from the "professional cleaner"!

  • ILoveRed
    hace 5 años

    I made the mistake of putting my toddler grandson in one of our twin beds without a waterproof mattress protector. He was potty trained but had on a pull-up that wasn't adequate. The green machine worked like magic!

    glad it worked so well for you.

  • Pink Poppy
    hace 4 años
    Última modificación: hace 4 años

    dgmarie, I don't know if you're still around as this is an 8 year old post, but I want to send a huge thanks to you! Until I read this thread, I was doubtful I could clean my Silhouettes on my own. The Green Machine did the job perfectly. I was super excited to see my blinds go from dingy and grey to bright white!

    All the fantastic ideas on this thread helped me to devise a good set up to clean my blinds. So thought I'd add to this wonderful collection of ideas by sharing mine:

    I laid out an old vinyl shower curtain on top of some old boards on my lawn (I laid down the boards to give myself a smooth, solid surface to vaccuum against... helps improve the suction; and did it over the lawn so at least the water could be reused, keeping the lawn watered). I "presoaked" the blinds by spraying them with a spray bottle of soapy water. I only use nontoxic cleaners in my home so I mixed a bit of Dr. Bronner's liquid soap with water.

    I then sucked up the dirty soapy water with the GM then rinsed off with the garden hose. For extra dirty blinds (e.g. the one in the dining room behind my kids' seats), I did more than one pass, scrubbed and cleaned both sides of the blinds. To dry them, I hung them on the clothes line.

    They were never cleaned for at least 10 years; yet, save for some stubborn food stains, all of the blinds look like new! Now I know how easy and cheap I can DIY clean them, they will get a regular cleaning from now on. Thanks SO MUCH dgmarie!

  • glynnae
    hace 4 años
    Última modificación: hace 4 años

    After stressing about if DYI cleaning would work, I took the plunge, and WOW!! I ran warm water, and liquid Tide in my bathtub, and soaked my luminettes for about 10 minutes, swishing the water once in a while. I rinsed them with the hand shower, and hung them to dry over the tub, and voila, they are white again, and beautiful. BTW, my shades are 12 years old, have hung in front of an open window, and just survived a bathroom remodel, in which there was dust, dirt, and a lot of sanding going on......highly recommend!

  • hoovb zone 9 sunset 23
    hace 4 años

    I took mine outside, hung them over a 6 foot ladder, and just sprayed them off with the hose. Now they look brand new. It was all just dust--the run off was dirty!

    The problem is now after 16 years the plastic parts are extremely brittle, so when I dropped one, all the plastic parts shattered like glass. I assume they do that on purpose so you have to buy new ones. The fabric is all in perfect shape.

  • Karen Eagle
    hace 4 años

    Hoovb, I would call Hunter Douglas and ask for replacement parts - if it looks doable. We had to replace the cord on 2 shades and they sent us replacement cords.

  • hoovb zone 9 sunset 23
    hace 4 años

    Thanks, Keagle!

  • rose2854
    hace 4 años

    I took mine down put them outside on a table took a sponge with dish soap like dawn and then hosed off the soap they were black as well. Then tuned it over did the other side . Let it dry and then did it again. After that I used my steamer when I was done I do not think Hunter Douglas could have done better they were like new!!


  • Donna S
    hace 4 años

    did you use the steamer when the blind was still wet or dry? Did you use the steam to release wrinkles or for another reason?

  • suzmquz
    hace 3 años

    I have Hunter Douglas Silhouette blinds all thru my house including one right next to the stove which had a huge brown stain on the lower half of it. I was about to replace it with another one that we took down.

    Watched a few youtube videos and decided to plunk it into my tub squirted some Dawn dish detergent (as I thought the brown stain might be grease) gently scrubbed it with a microfiber cloth and it came out unbelievably clean.

    I left it out to dry outside for about 20 minutes and it looks fab!! No green machine needed.


  • olgash21
    hace 3 años

    I am wondering if anyone cleaned the vertical silhouette blinds that go over the French sliding doors? I have 4 of those that are in urgent need of a good cleaning.

  • Sharon Ramer
    hace 3 años

    Bought the cheaper little green machine yesterday at walmart (79.00) and did my 20 year old silhouette blind.... I couldn't get it down, so just taped up old shower curtain liners behind it and down to the floor to protect hardwood floor... It worked GREAT!!! I just used the bottle of detergent that came with it...the return water was black!!!! They look totally brand new again! I just closed them, brushed horizontally along each panel, opened them and did a more gentle swipe again.... I'm actually glad I left them up, no risk of wrinkling them and they dried quickly! I never post in these things, but this was soooo worth it! I then used the cleaner for my stairway and it did a good job as well! Thanks to the original poster for sharing this tip!

  • elpida1954
    hace 3 años

    I also have silhouette blinds...i put them in my jacuzzi with a VERY small amount of dawn dish washing liquid. Put the jets on and let them soak a bit. I took the hand held faucet and rinsed really well...several times. Then i took them outside and laid them across the lounge chairs in my backyard which i had covered in bath towels. 30 minutes later i was reinstalling my sparkling WHITE silhouettes. Mine are 120" long and the price i was quoted was obscene.

  • airodee
    hace 3 años

    It absolutely works! I had a "trip and fall" awhile back that sent a full cup of coffee into one of my HD shades like this.

    Brought out the baby Bissell and Viola!! Done! So thrilled not to have to spend $700 to replace said blind. (Why the heck are these HD's so stinkin' expensive to begin with? It's not like rocket science goes into these things....!)

    A thousand thanks for the tip!

  • Douglas Murphy
    hace 2 años

    Well, my dirty Silhouettes brought me here and glad it did. I too could not find anyone that even cleans them in my area. They are about 10 years old and as my girlfriend calls them a vanilla color. So I go buy that Bissell Vac and did one of the blinds. To me very little improvement and a lot of work. I am taking that thing back. So then I found another sight and it had pictures to follow. Basically take the blind down, soak in the bathtub with a dash of dawn for 20 minutes. I used a big bath sponge and wiped it down on both sides. I took a piece of wood and cut it to fit between two pillars on my side porch. Then I just draped the blind over the wood. Sprayed it with the garden hose. Bam, looks brand new and better than the Bissell. Total time take down, wash, spray off, dry, 1 hour. took 2 with the Bissell and it did not look near as good. Here is a pick of the first one drying.

    Tip, no need to empty the tub and do a 2nd cleaning/rinsing as was recommended. Using the hose to rinse it does a great job. I rinsed the heck out of both sides.




  • angiehill
    el último año

    So... I read through all the comments and decided not to buy the green machine. The point was not to spend any money cleaning my blinds so I thought, if it goes wrong, I'll just get curtains. I took the blinds down (which turned out to be extremely easy). Just remember to unscrew the little mechanism that holds down the cords near the bottom first. I took them outside, laid them on a tarp, hosed them down (the water that pooled up was nasty brown).

    Then I had a bucket of water with some dawn dish soap and a big scoop of oxy clean and a brush with a handle I had for washing dishes (the kind you can put soap in the handle) and just lightly scrubbed over the blinds starting at the top. Rinsed them off, turned them over and repeated.

    Laid them out to dry over 2 chairs. After 30 min, they were still damp but hung them up cause I wanted them to not have a weird crease where they were hung over the chair.

    I'm amazed and saved myself loads of money!

    I've attached a few pics trying to show the before and after. It's difficult to photograph them so hopefully you can see




  • angiehill
    el último año

    That's such a rude and presumptive comment. I most certainly paid for my blinds myself and I cleaned them myself and they're absolutely perfect.

  • Karen Eagle
    el último año

    Angiehill, I almost posted the same thing, but my comment would not have been as nice as yours. SM must be bored and needs to stir things up or more likely has an ultrasonic cleaning company and needs the business.

  • angiehill
    el último año

    There were many versions before I posted the toned down one :)

  • Robby
    el último año

    I’m embarrassed to say how old my Hunter Douglas Duette and Silhouette cellular shades are. I have washed all of them in the bathtub with mild soap (Woolite) and warm water. The large ones are more difficult, because I have to stand them up and pour the soapy water down them and flip them around. The small ones are so easy, I just set them in the tub. When I finish rinsing them, I close them and squeeze excess water and hang them back up damp. Close them on the window and let air dry. They turn out wonderful. I also had a cord that snapped replaced by a local drapery and blind shop. Replacement is not cheap!

  • Fernando Otero
    el último año

    Hi everyone! I just wanted to thank all the people who posted about the use of the Bissell Green Little machine (I think they should rename it to Little Green Giant, but that is taken) to clean their Hunter Douglas silhouettes. Ours are 12 years old and as many have pointed out, you don't know how filthy the are until you wash them.


    Well, after getting a $750.00 estimate from an authorized Hunter Douglas expert cleaner we decided to give it a go ourselves. We did not even bother taking them down. We used plastic sheeting and masking tape to cover up the windows and walls to prevent excessive wetting of all surrounding areas and off we went. After the initial learning curve (we started with a single window shade), the whole thing became a breeze.


    That green sucker is simply AMAZING. We never had or needed one so we just got one at the big W for $79 plus a bottle of the cleaning solution. I figured we saved ourselves around 660 bucks, the difference between mister Hunter Douglas cleaner and mister little green machine. My wife could not believe the dirt and grime coming off the blinds, .The results are nothing short of spectacular. The silhouttes are back to their original resplendent off white color. They took no time to completely dry out after after being sucked up by, yes you guessed it, mister green. I will say, after we got the full hang of it, we were actually enjoying the whole cleaning process, all 3 sliding doors. 3 triple windows and 2 more single ones.


    Again, thanks to all for the terrific comments and ideas on how to tackle this kind of shore.

  • Janet Davilli
    hace 10 meses

    Has anyone tried this method on honeycomb cellular shades?


  • Usuario de Houzz-619864855
    hace 8 meses

    I took my hunter douglas Roman shades down and put them in anoxy clean bath in the tub for may be 3 minutes. All the grease and dirt just rinsed right out. They were kitchen blinds so they get messy. I hung them over lawn chairs to dry in the sun and they look brand new. I thought id have to

    replace them .



  • jobree
    hace 7 meses

    After reading everyone’s comments I took your advice and washed my Silhouette Blinds in the tub with Dawn Dish detergent. My 13 year old Silhouette looks the same as the “new” Silhouette that was just installed (my grandkids destroyed the original). Thank you!


  • Mo Ha
    hace 7 meses

    Like others, just wanted to give everyone thanks for the ideas and to show my experience (based on everyone’s suggestions). Was always afraid of cleaning my HD’s as they appear so shear. Even though my HD Silhouettes have been up for just over 20 years now, I have been hesitant to professionally clean due to costs (over $1000 dollars estimated-was told it was this or spend over $6000 to replace). Given inspiration by this thread, I decided to do it myself and wanted to “payback” the thread with my experience.


    Given the cost of professional cleaning, I decided to DIY since it I messed up, I would replace with something else that was not so delicate (called HD and they would not sell “replacement” fabric so would have to replace all units).


    I could not use the bathtub method as many of my shades are too large (7ft W x 5ft L). Also, did not want to use sheets on the ground or swimming pool method as I did not wish to risk tearing/delaminating the shade vanes and it would have been tough to get to the center of the shades to clean and rinse. I did purchase then returned a cheap $39 inflatable pool but decided it was not worth the effort. Bissel was an option but some said it was messy and I didn’t want to risk dripping onto white/beige carpet if using when shades were still hung.


    Instead, I hung the shades up on a pergola in my backyard with some bungie cords and 1” nylon webbing with plastic buckles I bought on Amazon for $7. I rinsed the shades (first with the vanes in an open position, then again on each side with the vanes closed) to get rid of as much grime as I could using a variable spray garden nozzle (started with flat spray, and increased to a jet spray). I then sprayed each side (vanes closed) with about 1/2 ounce Dawn (as degreasing detergent) mixed with 1:2 Oxyclean/water in a spray bottle. This was followed by a thorough rinse on each side using the garden hose on jet spray to get rid of all the remaining grime and stains (started from the top, working out from the middle to ”eject” the dirt out to the sides).


    I followed up by using a leaf blower to dry the Silhouettes so I could immediately hang them back up. I already had a cheap one that I use to blow excess water out of molding/crevices and grill work when I clean my cars but a SunJoe electric leaf blower can be purchased on Amazon for as little as $19. Again, I started blow drying from the top, working my way out from the middle to the sides to expel all the water (and get any excess water out of the headrail and bottom rail). I found that this worked best first with the vanes closed, then a light going over with the vanes in the open position. Because the material (at least of the standard Silhouettes) is some form of polyester, the material dried very quickly, with no puckering nor delamination.


    A couple of observations. First, much to my surprise, the polyester material (at least on the standard) Silhouettes is not as delicate as I first thought. I can’t speak for any other brand or material, but the Hunter Douglas standard ones are very resilient, just don’t poke the shear material! You can be quite vigorous with the water pressure, much more so than I thought, to thoroughly clean and rinse the shades. They are a quality product (at least the ones I bought over 20 years ago, and the price I guess reflects that). Secondly, I would recommend leaving them in a “down” position with the vanes in an open position once you hang them back up to ensure they thoroughly dry. They will not pucker so you don’t need to roll them up as one person suggested as this may lead to the headrail components remaining wet and the shades not completely drying.


    From removal to reinstallation, I got it down to about 20 minutes per shade (had a lot of practice, lots of shades, lol).


    For those that were asking for photos:

    Before (right side before cleaning), after cleaning (on left) of two adjacent shades, left side started even worse than right side (see second photo) since left side window opens. After is back to original color #128 misty almond:



    Another before photo of the left side (pretty gross!)



    Hanging from pergola before cleaning:



    After cleaning:




    Variable spray hose attachment:



    Spray mixture and bottle:



    Summary: about $35 worth of equipment used (plus the cost of soap and water) vs. over $1000. Can’t imagine that the +$1000 method would have significantly better results. Anyway, sorry for the long post. Hope it helps someone, YMMV.





  • Mo Ha
    hace 7 meses

    Oh, and of course, word of caution! If you are using an electric leaf blower, or shop vac in reverse, make sure the cord is plugged into a GFI protected socket (which every outdoor socket should be anyways) and keep the end of any electrical cords out of any pools of water. Also, although I wore flip-flops when washing the shades, I dried my feet and put on rubber soled shoes when I dried the shades. Stay safe!

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